Nanoengineered Ink for Designing 3D Printable Flexible Bioelectronics. Academic Article uri icon


  • Flexible electronics require elastomeric and conductive biointerfaces with native tissue-like mechanical properties. The conventional approaches to engineer such a biointerface often utilize conductive nanomaterials in combination with polymeric hydrogels that are cross-linked using toxic photoinitiators. Moreover, these systems frequently demonstrate poor biocompatibility and face trade-offs between conductivity and mechanical stiffness under physiological conditions. To address these challenges, we developed a class of shear-thinning hydrogels as biomaterial inks for 3D printing flexible bioelectronics. These hydrogels are engineered through a facile vacancy-driven gelation of MoS2 nanoassemblies with naturally derived polymer-thiolated gelatin. Due to shear-thinning properties, these nanoengineered hydrogels can be printed into complex shapes that can respond to mechanical deformation. The chemically cross-linked nanoengineered hydrogels demonstrate a 20-fold rise in compressive moduli and can withstand up to 80% strain without permanent deformation, meeting human anatomical flexibility. The nanoengineered network exhibits high conductivity, compressive modulus, pseudocapacitance, and biocompatibility. The 3D-printed cross-linked structure demonstrates excellent strain sensitivity and can be used as wearable electronics to detect various motion dynamics. Overall, the results suggest that these nanoengineered hydrogels offer improved mechanical, electronic, and biological characteristics for various emerging biomedical applications including 3D-printed flexible biosensors, actuators, optoelectronics, and therapeutic delivery devices.

published proceedings

  • ACS Nano

altmetric score

  • 149.68

author list (cited authors)

  • Deo, K. A., Jaiswal, M. K., Abasi, S., Lokhande, G., Bhunia, S., Nguyen, T., ... Gaharwar, A. K.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Deo, Kaivalya A||Jaiswal, Manish K||Abasi, Sara||Lokhande, Giriraj||Bhunia, Sukanya||Nguyen, Thuy-Uyen||Namkoong, Myeong||Darvesh, Kamran||Guiseppi-Elie, Anthony||Tian, Limei||Gaharwar, Akhilesh K

publication date

  • June 2022